Shelf Re-Do, Step Three – DIY Magazine / Project Notes Storage

Whilst browsing Pinterest one day after work I saw a lady who makes all kinds of storage stuff out of cereal boxes…I can’t find the pin now, I think I just looked at her blog without pinning. Oops. Here is the project that I remember best and decided to do myself. Cereal boxes into magazine storage containers.

Who doesn’t have cereal boxes in their home? All you have to do is measure and mark where five inches is on one side, use a ruler to draw a line up to the other corner and then cut along the lines. It’s that easy.

Yeah, I still eat like a five-year-old, don’t judge. Those marshmallows are delicious.

Simply cover the cut boxes with the paper of your choice. I decided to continue the brown paper theme I had going on the rest of my shelf and only have the pretty paper at the end that folk will see. I’m too cheap to have magazines coming to my house, but this is a great way for me to keep the notes and sketches I have for various projects organized.


Bling your TV

So what happens when you are desperate to avoid unpacking boxes after your SEVENTH move in 3 years…you start looking at an old TV you just hauled up three flights of stairs and think to yourself, “Self, you should throw that ugly thing out…OR!…wait for it, new idea…I bet you could waste HOURS making that billion-year-old TV look less boring…Why, yes indeed I could and I will! Thanks for the great suggestion, self. You’re so thoughtful!”

And thus I present to you, in shocking 2-D, the birth of a blinged-out TV:

Take one boring, free, mostly functional TV..

Add some thinned out acrylic paint,

Add a liberal amount of Mod Podge and paper,

And still more layers of acrylic paint and some gold swirly paint,

And you have successfully killed a potentially productive day of work and now have a TV that, while still not nearly as impressive in picture quality as everyone else you know…BUT…way more fun to have in your living room.

Total cost:
(Free TV + craft stuff just sitting around.) Booyah!


Refurbishing a Desk on the Cheap

Every house has it, the dreaded ugly piece of furniture. (Sometimes this horrific fiend has an entire family of ugly friends clogging up your space.) And like me you walk past it and sigh. You know you should do something about it…but who has the money to replace it or time to deal with it? Then one day your brain snaps and the ugly must be dealt with, but how you ask? Super Cheap I reply.  Behold the ugly desk.  This dark beast labored under my computer and piles of crap in a darkly painted entryway with no windows, relentlessly sucking out what little light managed to peek into that corner. (Whose bright idea was the dark brown paint anyway?…Oh wait, mine…moving on.) Due to drying times this project will require a weekend to accomplish.originalSomething must be done, so I took stock of what I had – you can see it there sitting on top of the desk. Three pretty pieces of paper and some Mod Podge…I’m totally prepared. My plan was to cover the drawer pulls with the gold paper and use what I could of the tiny amount of cranberry paisley paper that was super pretty and super scarce. Off to the store I go with a sample of these two papers. Turns out no paint matches both so I buy a perfect match for the background color of the paisley paper…Salmon.

Newsflash: Salmon is Benjamin Moore code speak for shocking band aid pink. You have been warned.after first coat
I determined very quickly that my new giant, band aid pink desk is not in fact an improvement over the previous incarnation. Think, think, think. New plan. Go under the sink and pull out more of the light brown paint from when we first moved in and I was painting the apartment. Using a giftcard to maintain an equal distance from the edge of the desk I tape off a square with painter’s tape and make a brown square.

Hint: for clean lines paint a quick edge inside the tape with the background color and let dry for a few minutes before moving onto the next color.
While watching TV that night I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut out the swirly flowery pattern on one of the pretty papers that I liked. After letting the paint dry over night I traced the edge of the square with a gold paint pen I had left over from an old project. (You can’t tell much but it’s nice up close.) Then I played with the best arrangements of the design for a while and put a thin layer of Mod Podge under the paper and a thicker layer on top to decoupage it to the desk. Let this dry completely, a few hours should do it. I would hit it with another layer of glue to help protect the image.
drawer details
I also decided to paint the front of the drawers brown (there was still WAY too much pink going on.) the only thing I left pink was the handles which I Mod Podged little strips of the paisley paper onto. It still looked a bit unfinished so I hot glued some mint green buttons on top of the whole shebang after the top and drawers of the desk got a quick coat of Minwax. (Along with everything else in the house I have been avoiding sealing for the past three years.) The fumes…Oh the fumes…

finished deskHere it is, my brand new desk ready to handle all of my crafting needs in style, all for the whopping sum of $15 dollars and I still have a TON of Salmon paint left, you know…should you be dying to paint something in your home the color of band aids.

Full list of supplies for non-crafting, non-packrats. Keep in mind this grew out of what I had on hand.  If you don’t have something improvise. I never would have come up with so many pretty things if the pink hadn’t been so unexpectedly ugly.

  • Mod Podge (or Elmers Glue)
  • Foam Brush
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Gold Paint pen
  • Decorative Paper
  • Exacto knife
  • Minwax sealant
  • Buttons
  • Hotglue Gun

Why do people throw awesome things away?

I stalked this steamer trunk in our apartment’s basement for two years, praying that no one else would take it before I was comfortable grabbing it.  A lot of people move in to our building, a lot of people move out and A LOT of stuff gets left behind each year, but there is always the chance that someone might have been using the basement for storage.  I didn’t want to steal anything.  However, after two years of collecting dust this baby is MINE. (Nobody but our neighbor has lasted more than two years, so we figured we are safe.)

Why would anyone throw away something this awesome?  It is gorgeous and huge.  We vacu-sealed as much as we could to free up some closet space and packed this to the brim.  SO. VERY. HAPPY.chest
One of the apartments in my building is being renovated and they are throwing away all kinds of great stuff.  I have had to restrain the crafting side of me from grabbing doors and windows by the bucket load.  I let myself take just one thing…this super great window.  I now have six panes to fill with artwork before I hang it on the wall.  I did a mock up of a papercut I might do a few posts ago and I have a couple other ideas kicking around in my head for the other five panes.  It is a little difficult as the spaces are long and narrow, but I love a challenge.  Filling these spaces might be the focus of the blog for a while…let’s see what ends up in here.  Should be lots of fun!

Pseudo Productive Day, and a Skill I Can Barter With

necklace design I got a fair amount of a new necklace design done today.  I just have some more filling in to do and the back to put on.  But the light was failing and it was starting to hurt my eyes.  I will need to invest in a better lamp to make it through the winter with more than 4 hours of usable light up here.  It is so cloudy during the winter even daytime is useless some days. Read the rest of this entry »

Now I call wasting time on the Internet, “Marketing my Blog.” It sounds better right?

Why oh why did I not think of this?! I have spent the better part of an hour cruising through whip up which is where I stumbled across these super functional beauties.  I love this site.  I submitted something to be posted on there…maybe I have a shot.   We shall see.  The lady who actually posted this idea has a site called julie-bird.

I have put aside my irrational dislike of net surfing and spent a whole day exploring the web and leaving a trail of comments.  And yes, I will only say this once…it pains me to do so…there is a lot of really cool stuff people are making and I have not totally hated spending my time doing this.  But it just seems such a waste of time.  Like I am slacking off.  This is what I did when I was avoiding work when I had a 9 to 5 job so I have a hard time accepting that some amount of time web surfing is needed to make your virtual presence felt by others.  Simply posting on your own blog is not enough.  I am making a commitment to myself to set aside at east one or two evenings a week to do this more regularly.

Now I just have to figure out a way not to die of jealousy because everyone out there in the world seems more clever than I am…I mean really! How did I not think of this!